SA indie band set to rock Japan

FAR FROM HOME: Shortstraw members are, from left, Gad de Combes, Alastair Thomas, Russell Grant, Jake Rubinstein and Tom Revington.

FAR FROM HOME: Shortstraw members are, from left, Gad de Combes, Alastair Thomas, Russell Grant, Jake Rubinstein and Tom Revington.

Published Apr 9, 2014


LOCAL indie band Shortstraw are on the second leg of their Australasian tour.

The band began their tour, affectionately titled the Sake Dingo Tour, in honour of their host countries, Australia and Japan, in Newcastle on March 27.

The band have travelled across Australia, playing in venues in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Shortstraw won best album and best video at the 2014 MK Awards for their album Good Morning, Sunshine, released last year, and their single Bikini Weather went to No 1 on TuksFM. The single Good Morning, Sunshine made it to the top five on 5FM’s Top 40 Countdown.

Shortstraw played their final show on Australian soil on Saturday and then flew to Tokyo, their arrival coinciding with guitarist Thomas Revington’s 25th birthday.

“The shows have been going well,” commented band manager Jean-Michel Wickli.

Shortstraw have been performing the Australian leg of the tour with established Australian band The Jungle Giants, who’re rumoured to have plans to tour South Africa towards the end of the year.

Russell Grant, the bassist, enthused about the reception the band has had from Australian audiences.

“We’ve been playing to sold-out crowds. We realised when we got here that we’re playing in quite famous, established venues, which is pretty cool,” he said.

Grant was speaking from backstage in Tokyo, where the band were preparing to play the first show of the Japanese leg of their tour. The tour is being facilitated in part by Japanese label Flake Records.

Flake Records is rereleasing the CDs of both Shortstraw and acclaimed local band Desmond and the Tutus in the Japanese market.

“When we knew we were coming to Australia, we thought, ‘We’re so far around the world, we may as well do Japan too’,” Grant said, explaining the decision to extend the tour.

From April 7-11 Shortstraw will be playing in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

“It is just so different, our bodies are pretty tired but we’re excited. Australia is great but it feels like South Africa, whereas Japan is totally different.”

Shortstraw released a two-part documentary of their December tour around the South African coast and are filming in Australia and Japan for another documentary this year.

“We’ve been doing really touristy things. We went and hung out with some koalas. We specifically went out and bought shrimp to throw on the barbie. It has been great.”

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